Nearly a third of private sector businesses would not consider employing ex-public sector workers, according to a survey

The Barclays Corporate Job Creation Survey 2011 questioned 500 executives of UK businesses and found that 32 percent were ‘not at all interested’ and 25 percent were ‘not very interested’ in taking on public sector workers who have been made redundant due to the government’s spending cuts.

Smaller companies, with turnover of less than £5 million, were least likely to be interested in hiring former public sector workers, with 54 percent saying they were not at all interested.

In contrast, companies with turnover between £100 million and £500 million were the most interested (54 percent), compared with 45 percent of companies with turnover over £500 million.

Most businesses were unenthusiastic about public sector workers because they did not believe they would have the right skills required for taking on roles in the private sector.

Just a third of businesses believed that the public sector employees would be ‘quite well-equipped’.

But another third of businesses believed that the public sector workers are ‘not well-equipped’, and a further 20 percent believe that they would not be equipped to take on the private sector roles at all.

Paul Coby, the former CIO at British Airways said in an interview with CIO UK last September that the key to successful transitioning to the private sector was adaptability.

“I don’t think it’s that difficult [working in private and public sector]. Clearly, the environment and objectives are going to be different, but what you need to be is adaptable – to listen and to understand the agenda of an organisation. You need to think what are you there for and adapt to that," he said.

Coby has experience of the public sector. He was principal private secretary to John MacGregor secretary of State for Transport, from 1992 to 1994.

Despite not having a lot of experience of hiring people directly from the public sector, David Jack, CIO of, agreed with Coby. “Talent is talent. The best people will always find a place in another business. Skills are transferable,” said Jack.

However, Duncan Scott, CIO of risk consultancy Control Risks, also told CIO UK: “I think a lot of IT people in the public sector will really struggle with transitioning. It’s a different kind of environment and a different kind of working today and I fear for those people really.”